The White House Blog: The Vice President

  • President Obama and Vice President Biden’s 2013 Tax Returns

    Today, the President released his 2013 federal income tax returns. He and the First Lady filed their income tax returns jointly and reported adjusted gross income of $481,098. The Obamas paid $98,169 in total tax.

    The President and First Lady also reported donating $59,251 – or about 12.3 percent of their adjusted gross income – to 32 different charities. The largest reported gift to charity was $8,751 to the Fisher House Foundation. The President’s effective federal income tax rate is 20.4 percent. The President pushed for and signed into law legislation that makes the system more fair and helps the middle class by extending tax cuts to middle class and working families and asks the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share. In 2013, as a result of his policies, the President was subject to limitations in tax preferences, as well as additional Medicare and investment income taxes, for high income earners. The President and First Lady also released their Illinois income tax return and reported paying $23,328 in state income tax.

    DOWNLOAD THE OBAMAS' TAX RETURNS

    The Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden also released their 2013 federal income tax returns, as well as state income tax returns for both Delaware and Virginia. The Bidens filed joint federal and combined Delaware income tax returns. Dr. Biden filed a separate non-resident Virginia tax return. Together, they reported adjusted gross income of $407,009. The Bidens paid $96,378 in total federal tax for 2013, amounting to an effective tax rate of 23.7 percent. They also paid $14,644 in Delaware income tax and Dr. Biden paid $3,470 in Virginia income tax. The Bidens contributed $20,523 to charity in 2013, including contributing the royalties received from Dr. Biden’s children’s book, net of taxes, to the USO.

    DOWNLOAD THE BIDENS' TAX RETURNS


  • West Wing Week 4/11/14 or, “Love Never Ends”

    This week, the President honored Equal Pay Day and signed two executive orders to support efforts to level the playing field for women, pushed for better access to skills-based high school training, hosted the Prime Minister of Tunisia, and traveled with the First Lady to the memorial at Fort Hood and then to Austin, to honor the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.

     


  • Being Biden Vol. 14: Chopper

    The audio series Being Biden is an opportunity for the Vice President to give you a window into his daily life, and share some of his most memorable experiences.

    In this episode, Vice President Biden talks about what it was like to meet with Trevor, a Navy SEAL, and his military dog Chopper. The two served together in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Chopper saved Trevor's life. Military dogs perform a hugely important service, helping our wounded heal -- in addition to serving them in combat zones.

    Listen to this edition of Being Biden:


  • The Vice President and Dr. Biden’s Support for Community Colleges and Apprenticeship Programs

    Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the 94th Annual Convention of the American Association of Community Colleges in Washington, D.C., April 7, 2014.

    Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the 94th Annual Convention of the American Association of Community Colleges. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    Earlier this week, Vice President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden spoke to 1,500 educational leaders at the American Association of Community Colleges 94th Annual Convention.

    During the speech, the Vice President recognized that community colleges provide “a trusted pathway to good jobs in the middle class,” and spoke about the importance of matching job openings with skilled workers. The Vice President highlighted the Administration’s work in making higher education more affordable through further investment in Pell Grants and capping federal student loan repayments at 10% of income.

    Dr. Biden, a lifelong educator and community college teacher, noted that she has visited innovative workforce partnerships at community colleges around the country – and that they are critical to America’s future.


  • Maria Contreras-Sweet Ceremonially Sworn In as Administrator of the Small Business Administration

    Vice President Joe Biden ceremonially swears in Small Business Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet,

    Vice President Joe Biden ceremonially swears in Small Business Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, with her husband Ray Sweet holding the bible, in the South Court Auditorium of the White House, April 7, 2014. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

    Yesterday, at the White House, President Obama and Vice President Biden participated in a ceremonial swearing-in ceremony for Maria Contreras-Sweet as the new Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA). Mrs. Contreras-Sweet is an excellent choice to lead the SBA, having served at high levels in both the public and private sectors.  Mrs. Contreras-Sweet served as the first Latina cabinet secretary in the history of California, oversaw one of the largest state government agencies in the country, and built a successful bank dedicated to serving traditionally underserved Latino communities from scratch. 

    Maria Contreras-Sweet is a champion for the success of small businesses; that’s why President Obama said during her nomination that “Maria Contreras-Sweet will help small businesses get their good ideas off the ground, to expand, to hire, to sell their products and ideas not only in our domestic markets, but also overseas.” Strengthening the economy is the President’s top priority and Mrs. Contreras-Sweet will play an integral role by supporting small businesses with expanded access to SBA loans.


  • West Wing Week: 4/4/14 or, “The Rosies”

    This week, the President wrapped up a six day trip to Europe and Saudi Arabia, spoke on the success of the first open enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act, traveled to Michigan to highlight the importance of raising the federal minimum wage, and honored both the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, and the 2014 US Olympic and Paralympic teams. That's March 28th to April 3rd or, "The Rosies."


  • In Case You Missed It: Vice President Biden Talks About the Need for Immigration Reform

    Last Thursday, Vice President Biden spoke to 350 Hispanic businessmen, entrepreneurs, and community leaders at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Annual Legislative Summit.

    During his speech, he spoke passionately about the need for immigration reform and thanked the Chamber for their continued leadership on this issue.

    The Vice President stated, “The single most important thing we can do for our economy, for America’s future, is pass immigration reform now.”

    He cited the findings of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on the economic benefits of the immigration reform bill (S. 744) the Senate passed in June and similar legislation recently introduced by House Democrats. The CBO determined common-sense reform would increase our gross domestic product by $1.4 trillion and reduce the deficit by $850 billion over the next 20 years.

    The Vice President offered several examples to illustrate why our current broken immigration system is damaging our economy.


  • Weekly Address: Raise The Minimum Wage - It’s The Right Thing To Do For Hardworking Americans

    In this week’s address, Vice President Biden discusses the importance of raising the federal minimum wage. It’s good for workers, it’s good for business, and it would help close the gender pay gap, as women make up more than half of the workers who stand to benefit from a raise. And as the Vice President highlights, Congress should boost the federal minimum wage because it is what a majority of the American people want.

    Transcript | mp4 | mp3


  • Weekly Wrap Up: FLOTUS and POTUS and Pandas, Oh My!

    This week, the First Lady wrapped up her visit to China -- of course, pandas were involved -- while the President started a week-long trip to Europe and Saudi Arabia. And the Vice President gave seven reasons why you should get covered before open enrollment ends on March 31. Check out what else you may have missed in this week's wrap up.


    FLOTUS Shows Us How She Moves in China

    While touring Xi'an, China, First Lady Michelle Obama was greeted by local kids and students performing music, double-dutch jump roping, flying kites, and more. Of course, the First Lady couldn't resist getting in on the fun and showing the kids how she moves. 


  • Supreme Court Decision in U.S. v. Castleman Will Save Women's Lives

    This week, the Supreme Court decided a case that will save women’s lives.

    Back in 1996, Congress made it a crime for anyone convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence to possess a gun. As Vice President Biden has often noted, there is a direct connection between gun violence and domestic violence: when a domestic abuser has a gun, a victim is 12 times more likely to die than when he doesn’t. 

    Some courts, however, have set a high bar for what counts as a “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” – which has meant that many domestic abusers have been allowed to keep their guns. 

    But in United States v. Castleman (written by Justice Sotomayor), the Court changed all that. It recognized that domestic violence is a unique kind of crime that doesn’t always fit everyone’s idea of what’s “violent”: often, it can involve pushing, grabbing, shoving, scratching, or hair pulling – and which, over time, can “subject one intimate partner to the other’s control.” The Court also recognized that, in a number of states, these acts are prosecuted as crimes of “offensive touching” – which, before this week, meant some courts didn’t consider them to be domestic violence. But now, according to the Court, that’s enough to subject a convicted domestic abuser to the federal gun ban.

    This is a landmark opinion. As so many abused women know, what happens to them is a far cry from “offensive touching.” It is terrifying and debilitating, and can rob her of all manner of trust, security, and hope. It can make her – as the Vice President has also said – a prisoner in her own home. But at least now, the law recognizes that those who are convicted of these crimes have no business having a gun.

    Lynn Rosenthal is the White House Advisor on Violence Against Women.